I have two older siblings who are eight and five years older than me, respectively. During my childhood, I always compared myself to them. I wanted to be able to do a handstand, like my sister, before I could walk. I wanted to run faster than my brother so he could not catch me. I wanted to be involved in their badminton game when I could not even hit the shuttle cock once.
For me, one of my greatest internal achievements has been ‘Santousha’: Contentment. Since I turned eighteen, I have learned to focus on improving myself rather than always comparing myself to my siblings. We have all gone on to achieve top professional careers: one doctor, one accountant and me, the lawyer: the products of a Tiger Mother. And whilst we each live on different continents now, we are close in spirit because we appreciate each other’s achievements and rely on them rather than seeing them as competition. Whenever I have an ailment, I call my sister. If I am making an investment or paying my taxes, I call my brother. And everyone has legal issues that crop up from time to time, so I am always there for them.
We each achieve inner peace by keeping fit, reaching out to help others and leaning on each other in times of need. I feel lucky that our relationship is one of deep connection; not competition.
(Kay Vasey, 200hr TTC, January 2017)